serves 8 buffet portions
700 g (1 1/2 lb) asparagus spears, about 24
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
125 g (4 oz) butter or margarine
about 60 ml (4 tbsp) water
125 g (4 oz) thin sliced streaky bacon rashers, rinded
3 egg yolks
200 ml (7 fl oz) single cream
100 g (4 oz) samsoe cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Trim the heads off the asparagus to the length of about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches). Blanch the heads: put into a pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain well.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the fat until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in enough water to make a firm dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, and use to line a 25 cm (10 inch) loose-bottomed fluted flan tin. Bake blind with foil and beans until set but not browned.
3. Stretch the bacon with a palette knife and wrap a small piece around each asparagus head.
4. Mix the egg yolks, cream, cheese and seasoning together and spoon into the flan case.
5. Arrange the bacon rolls in the custard. Bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 30-35 minutes, or until set and golden brown. Serve warm.
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